September is Emergency Preparedness Month - and this is a subject I am passionate about.
So this month I have DAILY reminders all September of ways you should be prepared for emergencies, no matter where you live.
I'm in earthquake zone so I take it seriously. If you're somewhere in hurricane zone, drought & fires, tornadoes & wind storms, extreme cold or ice storms, extreme flooding or rain zones, then I urge you to have yourself and your family prepared for emergencies. Many tips to come in September.
Do you have Emergency Preparedness supplies?? 72 Hours? one week? One month?
Each day I post a new tip on the Facebook Page and the next day I will add it to this blog post so you can see them all in a row.
September Emergency Preparedness Month: Day 1
Know the risks in your area.
Some places are certainly MORE susceptible to certain emergencies. Whether you're in a tornado zone, hurricane zone, earthquake zone, extreme weather like ice storms or flooding, dry areas where forest fires can be extreme, close to places that could require evacuation (chemical plants, oil refineries, nuclear reactors, etc) then you adjust your emergency preparedness according to those factors.
All of us can be affected by extreme weather. There is no getting away from that fact, all of us can have our power, heat or water cut off for days at a time. All of us are at risk from being evacuated from our homes for one cause or another.
Assess those things first. If you need to hide out in your basements, have supplies there. If you can be faced with no power or essential services, 72 hours supply is the bare minimum to be prepared with food, water, and medical supplies for your family (and pets) Look at New Orleans... 72 hours wouldn't have helped most of them 'get by'. Yes, the government will respond, eventually, but being prepared to get yourself by for a few days or weeks is in your best interest.
Emergency Preparedness Month: Day 2
Have extras of the basics.
I know that sounds like a silly suggestion but so many people think, I'll just go grab more toilet paper in the morning, or more diapers, or something basic. But to think ahead, for even a simple 72 Hours of being stuck at home, you definitely want to have a stash of those basic items somewhere. What if a bridge to your neighbourhood washes out, or a sink hole prevents you from leaving your house? An ice storm takes out the road with downed trees, or a power outtage prevents all stores from opening?
I'm not suggesting you go hoarder/prepper here, but I'm suggesting you have a look around and think about the things you need & use every single day, for yourself, your family and your pets if you have them, and make sure you have the basics covered with extras.
Thinking about power outtages and emergencies is what led me to discover cloth diapering when my first was a wee babe. I hated disposables and knew nothing about cloth but after a couple power outtages I thought about what I would do if I needed more than a few days of diapers and that's where I discovered cloth diapers (and have been addicted ever since)
So think about your basics today. Grab an extra pack of TP or bottled water at the grocery store when they're on sale. If you are one who eats only fresh foods, its still wise to have a few non-perishables on hand (yes, you'll cringe at buying canned & preserved type stuff but have some anyways... or at the very least, create some long lasting foods of your own by canning or freeze drying... don't just rely on your freezer as well)
Emergency Preparedness Month: Day 3
Make Sure You Have Extra Medical Supplies
Do you take meds and prescriptions that are essential to your daily health? What about severe allergies? Seizures? Diabetes? Asthma?
Would you be ok if there was no power, no leaving home, no essential services, no pharmacies open for 3 or more days? What about basic First Aid supplies like band-aids, disinfectants, tensor bandage, etc? And where do you keep these things stored? If there was a hurricane or tornado, do you have these things in your basement? What about in your car?
Of course, I can recommend dozens of essential oils that are long-lasting, non-expiring and useful for almost every medical emergency as well. But I still suggest for those things that can be acute and severe, like needing insulin, an epi-pen or an asthma puffer that you consider those needs for short & long term emergency situations!
Emergency Preparedness Month: Day 4
Water is Life
You know how they say to fill the bathtub when the power goes out! Do it! If the power stays out for a long time, you'll at least have a tub full of water for cleaning up/flushing etc. And if its out for a while then you don't want "new" water coming in through your pipes because without power, water treatment facilities can be compromised - bacteria & other contaminants can grow in just a couple days. So fill that tub to the top so you can use it.
And then, be sure you have some drinking water stored too. Consider the size of your family (and pets) and plan for 3 bottles a day per person. So a family of 4 for 72 hours would need 36 bottles of water, bare minimum, just to maintain hydration, not including what you might use to prepare food that requires hydrating. (I know I know - I HATE buying bottled water and pretty much loathe every bottled water company but I still have a few flats of bottled water in my storage room)
Rain water collection is another way to have water to use for emergency situations, depending on where you live, its an easy way to have a bit of extra water on hand.
Another thing that you can do is take things like old milk jugs, clean them out good and fill them with water and FREEZE them. Not only will they help keep your freezer frozen longer if the power goes out for more than a few days, but then you have clean fresh-ish water once they thaw.
Emergency Preparedness Month: Day 5
Have some LIGHT!
Well, I know that sounds obvious because we all assume we have a working flashlight *somewhere* in the house or a drawer with a couple candles in it but its really something you should be certain on.
The power can go out (and stay out) for anyone, no matter where we live (unless you're lucky enough to be solar) and at any time of day or NIGHT. Knowing where your flashlight is, making sure you have extra batteries, or a flashlight for everyone, even the kiddos, is a good idea. Flashlights are safest of course when it comes to kids but they aren't long-lasting for sure.
Having some long-burning emergency candles is a bare necessity if the power stays off for more than one day. Or when your batteries all die. Another great option is a lantern - propane or gas - for lighting a larger area. Remember, if the power is out in December and you want to eat dinner or play a boardgame with your family after 4pm, a bigger light source would be pretty handy.
Emergency Preparedness Month: Sept 8
Have a bit of extra cash!
Emergencies can come in many different forms. If the power is out and you can't access your ATM but you can buy a few groceries with cash, then it would definitely be wise to have some cash on hand. Keep a few small bills on hand, or for Canadians, some loonies and toonies.
Also, this applies to life emergencies like loss of job or illness, you know, where it would be wise to have a bit more than a few bucks to pull you out of that crisis. I know in this day and age there are very few people sitting on a 'nest egg' for emergencies or retirement but since we're talking about all manner of emergencies, I figured it was worth bringing up.
Emergency Preparedness Month: Sept 9
Have a meeting place
Something not everyone considers. If there is an emergency at your home/neighbourhood, how would you find eachother? Have a meeting place (or two if the first one is compromised) so that you can meet up as a family. This is especially important with older children who might be driving or out and about with school/jobs, etc but also just for couples or family or friends that want to find eachother if the neighbourhood is under an emergency situation. Plus, cell phones won't always be reliable if power or service is out, so have a place everyone knows without having to discuss it
Emergency Preparedness Month: September 11
Know the emergency plans where you work, or where your kids/family members are.
A lot of us don't spend as much time in our homes as we do at our place of work. And that goes for kids too. A good portion of their day is sometimes spent in a school, college, daycare, preschool, etc.
You need to know the emergency preparedness plans for those places too. A place they go if the building needs to be evacuated. Their plans for power outtages, and other emergencies. Seems like something that you would likely skip over in the company manual on your first day of work, but this is the one day of the year where we are all reminded that emergencies happen in our workplace too and that knowing the plan might buy you the minutes or even seconds necessary to avoid something tragic
Emergency Preparedness Month: September 12
Buy things re-usable, not throw-away!
If you are thinking beyond 72 hour emergencies then you should be considering re-usable products instead of throw-away things. This is also for your basic green & eco-friendly household, a general rule anyways, but we are a throw-away society so there may be products out there that you've never even considered to be re-usable. And if there is an emergency like Katrina, for example, where help wasn't there for weeks, then having some stuff you can wash & re-use is definitely the wiser choice.
Our whole eco-friendly natural journey started with worrying about diapers in an emergency preparedness situation when our first born was about 4 months old. Until then I had hardly even given cloth diapers a second thought, but thinking about winter storms and the cost & waste of disposable diapers, we jumped on the cloth diaper wagon & never looked back. Wash, dry, re-use, never to run out of disposables on a Friday night let alone need to worry about needing them for weeks on end.
Switching to diapers made choosing cloth wipes super easy choice as well. (And, if you really are still using those disposable wipes, maybe re-think that anyways, they are loaded with chemicals that are so harsh on your babe's delicate skin) Soft re-usable cloths are so much safer and genterl!!
Plus, we have cloth wipes for wiping noses and washing little hands & faces.
So switching out our throw-away paper towels for UNpaper towels was also a logical choice. We use them for everything. I make them all myself. No more wasteful paper towels. No need for the jumbo pack of Bounty!
And, since I had switched to cloth diapers for my kiddos, I figured it was safer and cheaper long term for cloth for my own pads. I know some ladies cringe at the thought but it really isn't that gross (especially if you've done cloth diapers too) and they are soft. Wash, dry, repeat. Again, no running to the pad & tampon section in a crisis situation. Made them myself. Or there are dozens and dozens of online retailers of all of these products.
Not just for the eco-minded people but for long-term emergency situations, this is a very wise choice!
by: Becky Wolfe
Our lives are full of west coast adventures and homeschooling our children. We are passionate about sharing natural alternatives and especially doTERRA essential oils, as well as a deep love of coffee & Jesus.